Published: Mon, April 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

United Kingdom issues British passports without words 'European Union'

United Kingdom issues British passports without words 'European Union'

Both passports are valid, the ministry said in a statement, adding that citizens can not choose whether they would like the words included or not.

"I was surprised they've made the change when we haven't left, and it's a tangible mark of something which I believe to be completely futile", she said.

It's a pre-emptive move, even though the contentious Brexit is now delayed and no clear date has been set when Britain will leave the bloc.

According to the British interior ministry, individual passports could still bear the words "European Union" on the front cover, as old stocks are being used up.

The interior ministry confirmed that some passports introduced from March 30, the day after Britain was originally due to depart, no longer include references to the European Union following a 2017 decision.

Britain's original withdrawal was scheduled for March 29. The U.K. government had said the new burgundy passports would be introduced starting several days ago, on March 30.

One person who received the passport said was "truly appalled" by the removal of the EU.

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In an apt sign of the befuddling circumstances around Brexit, Britain's interior ministry confirmed that some newly-issued passports now omit references to the European Union atop the cover while others still bear the bloc's name.

The Home Office has warned the residents will not be issued passports that include the words European Union after the United Kingdom has left the EU - but when that is likely to be remains uncertain.

British Prime Minister Theresa May formally asked the European Union on Friday to delay Britain's departure from the bloc until June 30, hoping to avoid a potentially damaging "no-deal" crash-out in mid-April.

But the other 27 members must give unanimous backing to any further postponement and are increasingly impatient at the paralysis in Westminster.

From the end of the year navy blue passports resembling the pre-EU British design are expected to be released. Both passports are "equally valid for travel", the ministry added.

The UK government made a decision in 2017 to change the colour of British passports from burgundy red to dark blue.

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